Battle For The Banana Bread

by admin on March 5, 2012

My husband and I an argument about whether eating from the middle of a cake is ever acceptable.

Tonight I made a banana bread. It was fresh out of the oven, still in the pan.

After dinner, I went to turn it out of the pan to serve it and found him hovering over it. Much to my surprise and shock, he had already started munching away from the middle of it. It looked like a dog had taken a big chunk out of it!

When I got upset about it, saying how uncouth it was to do this, he argued back that he didn’t use his mouth; he had used a spoon. Why was I making such a big deal out of it since it was only for us anyway! I couldn’t believe he could use such an argument to justify his poor manners. He blamed me for being so uptight about it. This is from a man who gets angry at me for using the wrong utensils.

Can you please tell me if I was making a bigger deal out of than I should have, or no matter what, he should have at least had it cut slice by slice from one of the ends like any other normal human being would have? 0303-12

I bake my banana bread in a lovely cake pan from Nordic Ware (see photo at left) which produces a very pretty loaf of nanner bread.   It comes out perfectly every time.  In fact, I’m making some banana bread today!

Some members of my family love the crust and so they choose the end pieces.  Others, like me, prefer the softer inside pieces.   I really don’t mind them *cutting* a piece from the middle or ends per their preferences.   However, not having the self control to wait until the loaf is out of the pan and  instead scooping it out with a spoon is rather tacky, not to mention making it harder to get the loaf out.   Your husband should have asked you if the banana bread is ready to come out of the pan – “Honey?  Can this banana bread come out of the pan now?   I’m dying to have some…it smells soooooo good.”    And if it was, your end of the deal is to not get uptight over what part of it he eats.

Of course, all bets are off if the bread is intended for a dinner where guests would see it before it was served.  A missing section having the appearance of having been chomped on isn’t very polite or appetizing.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Edhla March 6, 2012 at 2:29 am

I think that what the OP’s husband did WAS rude, but I’m still not sure of what to make of her reaction- this was apparently SUCH a big deal that that very same night she rushed to “tell on” him to strangers on the internet. I don’t think the husband’s etiquette sin really warranted such an overreaction. He’s your husband, OP. Surely you can either look past his lack of manners or work through them together without going to an online etiquette site for strangers to referee?

It’s only banana bread.

And believe me, I take banana bread seriously.

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Wim March 6, 2012 at 4:00 am

@Crystal: Thanks, I’ll give it a try on Sunday. My fiancé has to work, so it’ll be a nice treat for when he gets home :)

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Margo March 6, 2012 at 5:59 am

I agree that what Husband did was rude, and his subsequent behaviour towards Op was much worse. If he doesn’t like ends, that’s fine, he could have turned out the cake, sliced off thened and then cut then next slice so he got some ‘middle’.

I think whether helping himself at all, without asking OP, was rude depends on the normal houshold arragements – in my experience, there are usually rules in a family (e.g. in my household, someone helping themselves to a cookie or individual cupcake would be fine, as would cutting a slice from a cake which has already been cut. Cutting into a whole cake without checking with the person who made it wouldn’t be, and f the odd cases where this doesn’t apply (say, if someone is baking for a party or fete) then the cook will make sure that everyone knows that treats are off limits)
So to me, Husband helping imself to something which OP made, without askign her first, may or may not be rude, depedning on their household rules, but digging it out of the pan that way is rude, and then dismissing OP’s reaction and belittling her is beyond rude.

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Ange63 March 6, 2012 at 7:58 am

This makes me think of the time I made a number of little cakes for my daughers birthday. When I wanted to make a photo, I noticed one was missing. It turned out my mother in law had taken one as soon as she saw them. Ofcourse they were for all to eat, but unfortunately for mother in law it was rather obvious someone hadn’t be able to wait. The cakes now spelled ‘Hapy birthday’ :) Mother in law hadn’t noticed there was a logic in the letters on them…

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Lychii March 6, 2012 at 9:20 am

Whether a cake is handmade or from a store, if you share it, it’s inconsiderate to gouge out the middle with a spoon. This isn’t your personal cake! Most people instinctively understand you should leave shared food in good condition for others to enjoy, after taking your own share of it.

But this isn’t a cake from a store. OP invested her time and labor in creating the cake. Hubby can’t even be bothered to take a minute and slice a neat bit? It’s disrespect of OP and her work. Later, hubby shows his disrespect of OP again, by dismissing her feelings as “being uptight”.

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Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Did anyone else catch the part about how the OP’s husband gets mad at her for using the “wrong” utensils when eating, but then got mad at her for being “uptight” when he took a spoon and scooped a big chunk out of the middle of the banana bread she’d made, instead of correctly cutting himself a slice, or more correctly, asking the OP first? Can you say, double standard?

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Elle March 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Dear god, if you can’t be tacky in the privacy of your own home………

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admin March 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Elle,

Hahahaha! On the other hand…..”Don’t flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Lindy March 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

If you’re married to someone who gets angry with you for using the wrong utensils..you’ve got way bigger issues then his digging out the middle of the banana bread.

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SJ March 7, 2012 at 1:19 am

This somewhat reminds me of a peeve I have. I will prepare a meal, get most of it on the table, go to the kitchen for finishing touches only to find that my husband has served himself and begun eating without me. After the time I took preparing it, I’d like to at least enjoy it with my family. I see a similar problem in OP’s story.

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MellowedOne March 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

SJ, it’s simple. Hide the chairs and/or utensils until you’re ready to eat. :) :)

Back to the post–I agree it’s best to treat others, especially those who share our home, with respect and kindness. But, it’s also helpful to have a sense of humor and be long-suffering when those we love aren’t especially exhibiting those characteristics. Would I like it if my husband of twenty-five plus years learned what a clothes hamper was for, or how not to leave things all over the place? SURE!!! But, when I focus on the better things…that he has been faithful to me our entire marriage, that he works hard to provide for our family and has been by my side during trying health issues, that he tells me he loves me every day (even though he is not an expressive person)..suddenly the other things seem very, very minor.

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Gracie C. March 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

Admin – I love that OWH quote and couldn’t agree more (though Elle’s comment was funny). I have a friend who says things to me constantly says things to me that I find appalling and I know in her head she’s thinking, “Well, I can say this to *you* because we are so close.” LOL

That said, I don’t think this is about whether it’s ok to be tacky at home, or whether it’s ok to not stand on ceremony. I think it’s about hearing that your wife found something you did to be disrespectful, and instead of recognizing that (whether you think it’s legitimate or not) and being gracious about it (by not doing it again), he told her she was uptight. Something bothered his wife, so he insulted her. It’s very rude and a bit disturbing.

Many people are saying it’s not a big deal and she shouldn’t care so much. But if it’s not a big deal then it is equally not a big deal for the husband to respect that it bothered his wife and not do it again. It’s not like he has something investing in scooping out the middle of the bread. I don’t know how the OP approached him (was she calm, or a screaming lunatic?), but I do know if my husband did that (and yes, it would bug me), and I said, “Could you please not scoop out the middle from inside the pan next time? I would rather you take it out of the pan and cut a slice so it doesn’t get all messy,” my husband’s response would be, “Ok.”

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Cat Whisperer March 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

SJ, my husband does the same thing. He’s also inclined to take larger portions than he really needs, and wolfs food down quickly.

It took me a while to figure out about how he learned to eat this way, but his sister enlightened me: my husband grew up in a blue-collar household with 4 siblings and sometimes there wasn’t a lot of food to go around. If you didn’t grab it first and eat it fast, someone else was likely to get it. This was particularly true of anything that was a special treat. If you wanted it, you had to grab it immediately and eat it fast, or someone else would get it.

We all develop our habits about food very early and in some cases, our attitudes and manners about food are not something we’re consciously aware of until we grow up enough to encounter situations that are different from what we grew up with. And in some cases, that can bring up “class consciousness” and cause defensiveness. If you grew up on a situation where you never knew there were different forks for salad and the main course, or even that these things could be served as separate courses, someone else criticizing your failure to use the correct fork might be perceived as an attack on your class and status in general. And if you grew up in a situation where if you waited for mama to put the finishing touches on the meal before you started attacking the food, the best parts might be on someone else’s plate with none left for you, you might not want to wait for finishing touches before you start eating.

Food etiquette issues can get touchy for some people because they strike at the heart of who we are: food is basic to survival, and what you eat and how you eat it tell a lot about who you are and where you come from, culturally and economically. This is why “correcting” someone’s eating manners can be an emotionally-loaded issue.

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swiftlytiltingplanet March 8, 2012 at 3:20 am

@Mabel “She’s lucky to have a husband”. WTF?

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Carrie A March 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm

If that had been my husband, I would have laughed and been pleased that he thought my dessert was delicious enough to devour right that instant!

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Sally March 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Lindy I think you have hit the nail on the head. I thought the same thing. This man shows little respect for his wife. and if the truth was known I think he did this on purpose just because he knew it was going to upset her. If my husband had done this I too would have been very upset, but then I know he would never do such a thing to start with. It shows total disrespect for his wife and her feelings.

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catleft March 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

OP’s husband: Why was I making such a big deal out of it

I hate when I’m discussing something with someone he or she (usually it’s a “he” in my case) say something like that to me. Or I get offended with something he/she said and in reply I get “I was just joking.” I think the husband doesn’t realize how hurtful it is to hear that. Makes me think he isn’t listening to what she was saying, just that he didn’t want to be a target to her rant and wanted to make her be on the defense to shut her up.

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Megan April 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Oh god if I caught anyone doing that I would go ape on them! When I bake something it is for everyone, even if when I make it no one is coming over (I just freeze or store it for when they come over and offer it). So seeing someone dig into it with a spoon because they would not wait for me to finish it is not only disrespectable but disgusting. Some bakes I include a sauce or frost for it and I lose the chance to make it look nice if you’ve already dug into it. Also serving something already torn at to guests looks unappealing. OP’s husband should be ashamed of himself for that since now the bread cannot be served to anyone else.

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erica September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I think if this is the worst he does…he’s a keeper.

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NostalgicGal December 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

I think it was totally not proper, he should have depanned it before attacking it at least.

It would be different if wife had made it specially for him and presented him with it and said ‘yours’. Even then it most likely would have been taken out of the pan first. That’s just being crude, rude and mannerless. If he HAD to attack it, then he should have finished it. Not just take the ‘best part’.

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